Thus far, Khabib Nurmagomedov has tried to play nice in recruiting talent to his Eagle FC fight promotion, but that doesn’t mean he plans to do so forever, especially if other organizations don’t treat their own fighters well.
On Friday night, Nurmagomedov’s fight promotion makes its U.S. debut with Eagle FC 44. The card is headlined by a heavyweight bout between Tyrone Spong and Sergei Kharitonov and populated heavily with former UFC and Bellator fighters, including Rashad Evans, Ray Borg, John Howard, and others. But though many of the recognizable names on the card are on the backend of their careers, Nurmagomedov says that won’t always be the case. In fact, the former UFC lightweight champion warned the UFC and Bellator to mind their Ps and Qs with their fighters, or “The Eagle” might just swoop down and take some of them.
“Big organizations like UFC, Bellator, they have to be careful with their fighters because Eagle FC is here,” Nurmagomedov said in press conference (video h/t MMAJunkie). “Of course, we’re trying to sign good athletes, great athletes with good names. (At the) same time, we’re working with the young generation too. We have two goals. I just want to say be careful. If they don’t treat good fighters, Eagle FC is here.”
The issue of the way the UFC treats its fighters has been a hot button topic in recent years but recently came to a boil again in the wake of UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou’s successful title defense at UFC 270 and the quagmire of promotional posturing that has ensued in the aftermath. But Nurmagomedov isn’t simply talking about treating fighters with respect, he’s talking about actually listening to what they want. Case in point, over the past several years, fans and fighters have been clamoring for a 165-pound weight class, and Eagle FC is delivering just that because, he says, that’s what the fighters want.
“I understand this game (from the) inside,” Nurmagomedov said. “I was professional fighter last 12 years and I hear from a lot of fighters that they really want weight classes like 155, 65, 75, and 85. When I opened this Eagle FC, I was like, why can’t I do this? Let’s build some new history.”
That history begins tonight at the FLXcast Arena in Miami, Fla.
Between the Links.
Best finishes from Bellator 273 fighters.
Khabib, Usman, Cejudo, and Sonnen discussing Eagle FC.
UFC 270 Fight Motion.
Israel Adesanya’s championship reign.
Adesanya’s fight camp.
MixedMollyWhoppery on Khamzat and McGregor.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Jake Paul is an elite troll.
When me and Patrick win, the 02 in London is gonna sound like the echo arena back in the day! pic.twitter.com/H6D2eI9gRL— Molly McCann (@MeatballMolly) January 27, 2022
Paddy and Jared Gordon staying solid.
Even tho jareds manager said himself the fight had never been offered— Paddy The Baddy (@theufcbaddy) January 27, 2022
I really don’t know my friend ask Dana urself ay? Go checks jareds managers tweets bro if u need clarification— Paddy The Baddy (@theufcbaddy) January 27, 2022
Paddy aint lyin, no one knew of the match up. But its a good build up for down the line at least— Jared Gordon (@JFlashGordonMMA) January 27, 2022
Facts Jared neither of us ducked either as the fight was never offered…. But I do believe we will fight in 2022 and I look forward to sharing the cage with you https://t.co/G7kZeExWhB— Paddy The Baddy (@theufcbaddy) January 27, 2022
Cat why are you lying? I haven’t refused any drug tests. I'm ready whenever you are. Behind the scenes you keep saying to Bellator you need more time to prepare for me, you need a different opponent first, now you go on social media with lies and smear campaigns and excuses? Sad https://t.co/KPT0i8jDRp— Shop W/ #BTC @CrisCyborg.com (@criscyborg) January 27, 2022
Is Zabit finally getting ready to return?
Thanks for reading and see y’all next week.
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